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Stakeholder Analysis

Blog: Biz-Performance, David Brown


Stakeholder Analysis provides guidance for the analysis and management of project stakeholders to ensure success of the project. It identifies the minimum requirements for a stakeholder analysis and discusses how to appropriately assess stakeholder commitment and methods for continued management of this commitment and their expectations as we work through the project. 


A critical success factor of any project is buy-in from stakeholders, this is to enable support and management of the projects affect’s upon the client organisation. Without effective stakeholder commitment it is almost certain that deliver the project delivery will be severely jeopardised and/or quality compromised due to lack of buy-in.
The actions and ability to manages stakeholders should be specified in a Stakeholder Analysis working document. This would include:
  • Identification of key stakeholder(s)
  • Stakeholder assessment – Analysis of commitment
  • Issues identified from commitment assessment
  • Planned actions for management of their commitment – Issue mitigation
  • Ongoing assessment and management throughout the project lifecycle
  • Progress reviews – held with appropriate team member to inform, consult and review progress on actions / issues for stakeholder management. 


At a minimum, the Stakeholder analysis must identify the following elements:
Element Description
Stakeholder(s) The audience(s) or individual(s) you need to engage who have a stake in the project and can influence the project delivery.
Commitment Assessment The assessment of commitment is based on a scale. Each individual’s commitment rating contains 2 ratings against a scale: N means Now; R means Required.
Issues and Concerns
Identify with the stakeholder, recognising what is their attitude towards what you are trying to achieve?
What are their concerns?
What do they need from you?

What other issues may be relevant.

Motivations The existing motivations, and the issues which may cause conflict.
Actions The actions are activities developed to achieve objectives for how you require the stakeholder(s) to think, what they need to do to support the project delivery and how to minimise their negative impact.
Timings The period for which actions need to be implemented to achieve their objectives.
Responsibility The person who is responsible for undertaking the actions and managing the stakeholder relationship.

Identifying Stakeholders

For effective stakeholder management you need to have clearly identified and targeted the stakeholder groups and subgroup. Regard what the project will deliver and the dependencies encompassed in achieving this. Consideration for the following can help in determining these:
  • outlined project deliverables
  • project dependencies
  • the customer organisation
  • touch points within the customer organisation.
Stakeholders can include business partners, external clients, sponsors and the Project Steering Board and other project teams determined by project dependencies. Potential stakeholders can be identified from a wide variety of sources, including:

Team Internal:

  • Project Steering Board
  • Project Sponsor
  • Project team leaders
  • Project office
  • Project coach or advisor
  • Team members

Team External (outside the project team but within the Organisation)
  • Other project teams (with dependencies)
  • Divisional Executive teams
  • Group Master Milestone Planning
  • Divisional Operational Officers
  • Divisional HR responsibilities
  • Divisional IT responsibilities
  • Communications and HR Division
  • Corporate Learning
  • IT Steering Committee
  • Executive Board
  • All employees
External (out of the project team and outside the organisation)
  • Shareholders
  • Customers
Managing stakeholders and their expectations is one of the most fundamental activities to achieve success in the project. Therefore careful consideration should be made to determine which participants are in a position to exert positive or negative influence on the project.

Assessment of Stakeholder Commitment

The basis of the stakeholder analysis is the commitment scale shown in the diagram below. Each individual’s assessment can be defined from a scale of nine character descriptions. Two ratings should be set against this scale: N for Now; R for Required.

The commitment rating is a valuable aid in providing an initial understanding of how each stakeholder is positioned in view of balancing their influence against the project. Used in conjunction with each stakeholders’ documented issues/concerns and motivations provides the foundation for complete assessment from which objectives can be determined and actions to deliver these set.

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